Mr. Seibert's Reading Class discussion

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message 1: by Mr. Seibert (new)

Mr. Seibert Seibert (aseibert) | 67 comments Mod
Hey guys--I hope your break is off to a great start. The book has really started to get interesting, and I'm really interested in what you all think about the following questions. You can post over the next couple days for each question. Feel free to respond to each other's posts and answers as well.


message 2: by Mr. Seibert (new)

Mr. Seibert Seibert (aseibert) | 67 comments Mod
In Incantations, the cultural context (or setting) plays a huge role. In fact, it's almost like an extra character in the book that affects other characters and events of the book. How does the cultural context of the book affects Estrella and other characters in the book? How would you be different as a person if you lived during this time (1500's in Spain)?


message 3: by Mr. Seibert (new)

Mr. Seibert Seibert (aseibert) | 67 comments Mod
On page 16, Estrella is talking about her mother (Abra) and is commenting about a ring that her father once gave her. "She was partial to emeralds; she said they were the single thing that remained constant, always green, always the same."

In addition to commenting on her mother's love for emeralds, Estrella is saying something deeper about her mother's personality and desires. What is it?

For a challenge, try and construct a statement, similar to Estrella's, about YOURSELF. What are YOU partial to? Make it something that both is something you actually (literally) enjoy as well as something that says something deeper about your personality. Here is my example:

-I am partial to a cup of breakfast coffee; never disappointing, always warm, loyal and inviting.-

Try your own!


message 4: by Mr. Seibert (new)

Mr. Seibert Seibert (aseibert) | 67 comments Mod
On page 30, Estrella and her mother are searching for plants out in the hills. Estrella makes the comment that "my mother was teaching me that the inside of something was not necessarily the outside". This is clearly a statement meant for more than just the flowers they were searching for. What else could this apply to that Estrella was thinking about? Could this lesson apply to us in our daily lives? How?

Estrella and her mother clearly have a close and very important relationship. Who in your life do you feel like you have learned the most from? Explain!


message 5: by Mr. Seibert (new)

Mr. Seibert Seibert (aseibert) | 67 comments Mod
After describing her interaction in the field with Andres, Estrella makes the comment on page 40: "And just like that, it was done. It was the first time I'd lied to her. But it would not be the last."

What does this foreshadow (predict) for later in the book? What do you think is driving Estrella and Cataline apart? Try not to grasp the obvious here--think deeper if you can about possible things that could be coming between them.


message 6: by Havelyn (new)

Havelyn (MiaBooBaby) | 69 comments Mr. Seibert wrote: "In Incantations, the cultural context (or setting) plays a huge role. In fact, it's almost like an extra character in the book that affects other characters and events of the book. How does the cul..."
The cultural context of the book affects Estrella and other characters in the book because it influecences the desicions you make. In that period of time their desicions was based off their Christianlity. I be different as a person if you lived during (1500's in Spain) because I would believe that Jews are bad people and that only Christian are good. It would be like a religonous type of world for me. I would probably stay away from the people who aren't of my religion.


message 7: by Shyen (last edited Dec 20, 2010 08:23AM) (new)

Shyen Hardiman (ShyenHardiman) | 56 comments My prediction for later on is that Estrella and Catilina will end up having a huge fight and Estrella will end up finding out something that they might of been hiding from her. I think that Catilina's bossiness might tear them apart but I also think that there is a secret that one of the 2 families are hiding. I also believe that Catilina doesn't like how Estrella likes Andres.


message 8: by Shyen (new)

Shyen Hardiman (ShyenHardiman) | 56 comments Mr. Seibert wrote: "On page 16, Estrella is talking about her mother (Abra) and is commenting about a ring that her father once gave her. "She was partial to emeralds; she said they were the single thing that remained..."

I believe that Estrella is trying to say that when her mother says something or believes something that she sticks with it.She could have also ment that her mother is always staying neutral she doesn't care who she's talking to she is going to stickwith her decision.



I am partial to music- Always comforting and it always has some type of message behind it ... sort of like a mystery


message 9: by Nyree (last edited Dec 22, 2010 07:58PM) (new)

Nyree Modisette (nyreemodisette12348) | 63 comments Mr. Seibert wrote: "After describing her interaction in the field with Andres, Estrella makes the comment on page 40: "And just like that, it was done. It was the first time I'd lied to her. But it would not be the la..." When Estrella made this comment, I can predict that Estrella will lie to Catalina in the future of the book. I believe the lies will mainly involve the afairs between Andres and Estrella and her family mysteries. However, one thing that Estrella does not know is that she is actually living a lie. Her real name is not Estrella but Esther. Her family are considered Marranos; which are people who are truly Jewish but turn to Christianity for safety reasons. Catalina picks up on Estrella's family behaviors, and she notice that they behave like Jewish people. This is the moment where Estrella must lie for her family's safety to her best friend. Estrella's and Catalina's friendship are parting because of Andres, I believe. I can tell Catalina really like Andres due to the fact she is plotting that Andes and herself will marry in the future. I predict that if Estrella goes along hand-in-hand with Andres, then Catalina will damage Estrella and her family's life. As a result, more lies will form throughtout the story in varies of ways, and the friendship of Crow and Raven (Catalina and Estrella) will begin to fall by every word said.


message 10: by Nyree (new)

Nyree Modisette (nyreemodisette12348) | 63 comments Mr. Seibert wrote: "On page 30, Estrella and her mother are searching for plants out in the hills. Estrella makes the comment that "my mother was teaching me that the inside of something was not necessarily the outsid..." I believe this comment means that what you think looks good does not always mean to go for it on first sight. To clarify, you cannot take things for what you believe is nice and pretty. Everything in the world has a meaning to it, and we as humans must find that meaning and use it to better our Earth and future lives. During this time, Estrella was doubting her friendship with Catalina. Estrella began to realize the transformation of Catalina's attitude when "Andres" name comes up. Also, Catalina demonstrates her jealousy towards Estrella through her dialogue by saying how she want to be pretty like Estrella but begins to talk about how many times she has defeated Estrella in an activity. This here proves that Catalina wants to be better than Estrella, but at the same time, she knows deep down that she cannot live up to reach the bar Estrella has set to fulfill her desires. With the comment made by Estrella's mother, we can use this in our daily lives. We can use this comment by looking deeper into things and not just taking them for what they are. We must do research on what we think is nice and pretty and try to fit it in our own knowledge and lifestyle. Yes, I do have someone in my life who I have an important and close relationship with. That relationship is the relationship with my mother. My mother and I have a very open and understanding relationship. I can go to my mother and tell her how I feel about something or any of my issues, and I know she will understand me and try to help me find a solution to my problem.She talks to me like a young lady that I am, and still disciplines me like a child that I am. I can talk to my mother like she is one of my friends, but I still show her the respect she deserves. I have learned several lessons from my mother that could help me in both my career and personal life. However, the most important lesson I have learned from her is to always do what is right; even though it maybe tough to do so. This lesson has took with me since I was three years old, and will always remain. This lesson is significant to me because it has help me be the young leader that I am today.


message 11: by Nyree (new)

Nyree Modisette (nyreemodisette12348) | 63 comments Mr. Seibert wrote: "On page 16, Estrella is talking about her mother (Abra) and is commenting about a ring that her father once gave her. "She was partial to emeralds; she said they were the single thing that remained..." In the comment made by Estrella, I believe Estrella is giving us a hint or a clue about who her mother is. From this comment, I can take that Estrella's mother does not change at all. She is content with herself, and she has the attitude of a determined and independent woman. I can understand that Estrella's mother is always going to do her and noone can take that away from her. I can prove this by her actions in the story. Abra is friends with a Muslim who is the wife of a Muslim, well-known doctor. Abra goes over to treat the wife whenever needed and makes yarn for her for no price. During this time period, it was not right for Christians to do such a thing for a Muslim. You were not to support them due to the fact Muslims did not worship or practice the same beliefs as the Christians. However, Abra did what SHE felt was right to her and helped this Muslim wife; and kept on helping her throughout the story. Abra basically kept it real throughout the whole story, and I truly admire her desire to want to do such a thing in a time period like this.
The following is my statement I have constructed about myself:
"I am partial to the darkness- very quiet, calm, and always full of surprises!"


message 12: by Nyree (new)

Nyree Modisette (nyreemodisette12348) | 63 comments Mr. Seibert wrote: "In Incantations, the cultural context (or setting) plays a huge role. In fact, it's almost like an extra character in the book that affects other characters and events of the book. How does the cul..." Firstly, the cultural context does play a huge role in the story. The cultural context starts all the conflicts and chaos in the story. The major event happening during this time is the Spanish Inquisition. During this time in Spain, several of the people who lived there could not live a normal life. The people who were Jewish were restricted from practicing their religion in any part of Spain. The Jewish people were also punished for being in any contact with the Spanish people or the Christians. The social trend during this time was to meet up with someone and speak face-to-face. During this time period, there weren't any cellphones to message each other what was going on or to talk from a long distance about the unfairness. You also received information by people telling you what they have heard from others. This was not a reliable source due to the fact you were not completely sure of the information you were receiving was accurate. In the story, the cultural context affected the actions of Estrella and many of the other characters. The cultural context affected Estrella due to the fact that Estrella and her family could not do what they were pleased. They had to walk on eggshells and be watchful and cautious of what they did infront of people. This was very uncomfortable for Estrella's family because they were always being watched by Catalina. The cultural context benefitted Catalina because she believed this was her way of revenge towards Estrella. She would claim that Estrella and her family are Marranos and should be punished. This is not good for Estrella or her family because they could certainly get caught. I would be different as a person if I lived during this time period because I would have to change my beliefs so I can live in a place where none respect me regardless. I believe I would be like Abra and do what I believe is right. I may die for trying to make a change, but I would be known for just having the guts to go against the law.


message 13: by Nyree (new)

Nyree Modisette (nyreemodisette12348) | 63 comments Shyen wrote: "Mr. Seibert wrote: "On page 16, Estrella is talking about her mother (Abra) and is commenting about a ring that her father once gave her. "She was partial to emeralds; she said they were the single..." Hi Shyen! I wanted to comment on your incredible statement about yourself. This statement truly fits you!


message 14: by Havelyn (new)

Havelyn (MiaBooBaby) | 69 comments Mr. Seibert wrote: "On page 16, Estrella is talking about her mother (Abra) and is commenting about a ring that her father once gave her. "She was partial to emeralds; she said they were the single thing that remained..."

On page 16, Estrella is saying something deeper about her mother. I think she is saying that her mother is the only individual in her family who remains constant(the same). Later in the story it proved surport for this conclusion. For example, on page "47" she said this about Catalina, "I wasn't quite as certain that I knew her down to her soul. When it came right down to it, I wasn't so sure she knew me either." Estrella believes that Catalina is changing so much that she doesn't really know her as much as she use to. That's how I concluded that she believes her mother is the only person who stays constant (the same).

"I'm partical to a lion; very fast, always bold, very smart, territorial, a leader, and layed back."


message 15: by Deandrea (new)

Deandrea Williams | 9 comments Nyree wrote: "Mr. Seibert wrote: "After describing her interaction in the field with Andres, Estrella makes the comment on page 40: "And just like that, it was done. It was the first time I'd lied to her. But it..."
Actually, I do agree with you on this theory because in the book, Estrella feels sorry for the man who's pages get burned for the reason of him being a jew.Personally I think that I being a true Christain would have just had to stop the altercation
Mr. Seibert wrote: "In Incantations, the cultural context (or setting) plays a huge role. In fact, it's almost like an extra character in the book that affects other characters and events of the book. How does the cul..."


message 16: by Havelyn (new)

Havelyn (MiaBooBaby) | 69 comments Mr. Seibert wrote: "On page 30, Estrella and her mother are searching for plants out in the hills. Estrella makes the comment that "my mother was teaching me that the inside of something was not necessarily the outsid..."

This could apply to her grandmother. On this page her grandmother just gave her some pearls, so in Estrella mind she was applying that saying to her grandmother because he grandmother loves her, but on the outside she doesn't show it. The pearls were like telling her that she really loved her even though Estrella thinks her grandmother thinks she can't do anything right. Yes, this lesson could actually apply to us in our everyday life because it could teach us look deep inside of people and not just judge them based off the decisions they make or their actions they make. In my life the person who I had a very close relationship with is my dad. He was like the most important thing in my life and his favorite thing to say to me was "Don't be like me, be better". My dad was the manager of the steel mill and he had a college degree. He was actually very successful in life, and by him bring successful I wanted to be like him. He incouraged me to be the person I am today, and lesson had the most important impact on my life.


message 17: by Havelyn (new)

Havelyn (MiaBooBaby) | 69 comments Mr. Seibert wrote: "After describing her interaction in the field with Andres, Estrella makes the comment on page 40: "And just like that, it was done. It was the first time I'd lied to her. But it would not be the la..."What does this foreshadow (predict) for later in the book? What do you think is driving Estrella and Cataline apart? Try not to grasp the obvious here--think deeper if you can about possible things that could be coming between them

I predict that later in the story she will lie to Catalina again. I think that Estrella is growing up and becoming more mature than she was. She's becoming to realize that Catalina is not the person she use to be or maybe she is the same person, and she changed alot. Also I think that Catalina and Estrella are being drived apart because of Catalina cousin Andres. They both like him and Catalina is planning to marry him. Estrella likes him, she just don't want to say it, and she lied to Catalina about looking at him with caused them to space apart from each other.


message 18: by Havelyn (new)

Havelyn (MiaBooBaby) | 69 comments Nyree wrote: "Mr. Seibert wrote: "On page 16, Estrella is talking about her mother (Abra) and is commenting about a ring that her father once gave her. "She was partial to emeralds; she said they were the single..."

Nyree I believe that you were right about what you picked. It actually fits your personally perfectly.


message 19: by Havelyn (new)

Havelyn (MiaBooBaby) | 69 comments Shyen wrote: "Mr. Seibert wrote: "On page 16, Estrella is talking about her mother (Abra) and is commenting about a ring that her father once gave her. "She was partial to emeralds; she said they were the single..."

Shyen you are a mysterty there is alot I haven't learn about you but even though I haven't, you're becoming a bestfriend to me.


message 20: by Shyen (new)

Shyen Hardiman (ShyenHardiman) | 56 comments Nyree wrote: "Mr. Seibert wrote: "On page 16, Estrella is talking about her mother (Abra) and is commenting about a ring that her father once gave her. "She was partial to emeralds; she said they were the single..."

Hey Nyree, Your analogy about your self is so true. You are very quiet but you have a head full of thoughts.

P.S thanks for the comp. about mine !


message 21: by Mr. Seibert (new)

Mr. Seibert Seibert (aseibert) | 67 comments Mod
Nyree wrote: "Mr. Seibert wrote: "On page 16, Estrella is talking about her mother (Abra) and is commenting about a ring that her father once gave her. "She was partial to emeralds; she said they were the single..."

Awesome creation! I really like the metaphor of darkness. I also loved reading your comments about the close relationship you have with your mom. You are very lucky to have such a caring, supportive and wise person in your life! I'm glad you appreciate her!


message 22: by Mr. Seibert (new)

Mr. Seibert Seibert (aseibert) | 67 comments Mod
Nyree wrote: "Mr. Seibert wrote: "In Incantations, the cultural context (or setting) plays a huge role. In fact, it's almost like an extra character in the book that affects other characters and events of the bo..."

This is awesome analysis! Great job in including the Spanish Inquisition in your remarks! It was an intensely dangerous time for people like Estrella/Esther and her family and the cultural context had an incredible impact on people and events.


message 23: by Mr. Seibert (new)

Mr. Seibert Seibert (aseibert) | 67 comments Mod
Havelyn wrote: "Mr. Seibert wrote: "On page 30, Estrella and her mother are searching for plants out in the hills. Estrella makes the comment that "my mother was teaching me that the inside of something was not ne..."

Havelyn--this is excellent analysis. I really liked the fact that you connected what her mother was saying to how we treat our peers and people who we interact with in OUR lives. Judging people based on their outward appearance is something that plagues our society--so it's great to see that you are able to insightfully connect that lesson.


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